I’m sitting down to write. I’ve tried to avoid this by scrolling on my phone, doing a load of laundry, making a call, posting on Instagram, but I know what I have to do and I’m here to do it: write a blog post. It’s time to create content regularly again. I’m excited, but intimidated. Where do I start? How do I start?
By Doing Something. It doesn’t have to change lives, but it gets the momentum going. When we’re nervous, scared, stuck, we can get over the hurdle by doing something. Something is always better than nothing.
The past year has been a wild ride with a storybook ending. On this day last year, I was still living “two houses ago”—we were renting the house on Pepper where I started this blog. It’s the house where I brainstormed blog names on my bedroom mirror with a dry-erase marker. It’s where I took blog photos on the luscious green moss. My good friend Vicky interviewed me there about my home and my style, click here to see the article and photos. That was a fun project made more meaningful now that Pepper is two homes behind me.
At this time last year, we had already received our 60-Day Notice on Pepper: the owner was preparing to sell and we had to vacate. We had secured our next rental (not an easy feat) and were in the midst of preparing it for move-in. It was a risky housing choice that most people would never make, but we knew it was our next stepping stone. We moved from a house that was going to be listed for sale into a house that was already listed for sale. And that’s not all: it was rundown and we gave it a facelift before moving in.
The Bay Area housing market can lead you to do crazy things. My husband and I were preparing to buy a home for our family, but we needed more time. We were comfortable uprooting the children from their school community once in their childhoods, but we needed to save that card for when we bought; this significantly limited our options.
We named our next home the Chalet: it reminded us of a Swiss Chalet, and this romantic moniker helped lighten the reality of the situation. We know the owners of the Chalet. It’s on a large lot with a total of three old cottages. They listed the property at their dream price while they went about the tedious work of subdividing the land: they envisioned three lots, the city wanted only two lots, they hadn’t gotten any offers at the exorbitant dream price—all of this meant time for us. Because of the uncertainty, we locked in a good deal. Again, most people would never do what we did. But, we did it, we moved into the Chalet.
On this day last year, our painter friend Ken was painting the interior of the Chalet, our designer friend Marta was whitewashing the tired fireplace, and the beat-up wood floors had been refinished and were curing. (If you’re curious, I wrote a bunch of articles about the Chalet transformation; my Instagram feed has many Chalet images as well.) We knew it wouldn’t be a long-term home, but we needed somewhere to land while we waited for the right buying opportunity and we were hopeful it would be long enough for our needs.
Seven months into Chalet life, we received our 60-Day Notice: it had to be demolished to subdivide the lot. The clock began ticking, it was game time. We zeroed in on our top neighborhoods, started house hunting, got pre-approved for a loan, got a Realtor, began making offers, prayed, fasted, and bought!
The beautiful ending of the story is that we bought a home we love in a neighborhood we love. We got out of the chalet before the 60-Days were up, and there are no more 60-Day Notices in our future.
EXHALE. INHALE. BREATHE.
My family has arrived safely at our final destination.
The Chalet is scheduled to be torn down on April 24. I’m guessing they’ll use a wrecking ball? I don’t plan to attend, but maybe I’ll change my mind. Could be interesting for the kids; could be traumatic.
Simultaneously, the house on Pepper is being prepared for demo: a family bought the lot and is building something new.
Three homes in 12 months. Two demolitions. One family.
Our housing woes have come to a close, our house-hopping days are over, we are at home. A big heartfelt THANK YOU to all of the family and friends who have supported us, shown up for us, and helped us get here—it was a turbulent ride, and I can hardly believe we’ve landed.
The top 3 things I’m excited to write about as I get back to regular blogging:
Getting to know my new nook of Silicon Valley.
Making our house a home, on a budget.
Navigating the Bay Area housing market.
Be back soon, with a little something else. Comment below if you’d like.